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KooK #1

THE KOOK Extra-ordinary Surfing Newspaper

Friend of Mine

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/ It’s easy to think of surfing as a monumental flop. Something very beautiful in essence that got hijacked along the way and despoiled. Toxic, egomaniac neanderthals with no imagination or appreciation of their own indifference, flailing and failing to find what they seek. It’s all about your own slice of the pie. What a state, mate. Surfers are the biggest kooks of all. //Defining surfing into rights and wrongs isn’t nearly so clear cut. Just as the culture eats itself and the subculture becomes big business, all sorts of countercultural offshoots start to spring up. This paper details some of the genuine, underground diversity in surfing right now. ///What do you think surfing is? Some goliath-balled quest to prove yourself? It’s more grey soup and aquine jocks right here. Funnily enough the total kook (not the one out the back on a SUP) often holds the key - an innocent attraction to something that they don’t understand. At least they enjoy what they do...

Roger by Jim Newitt

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//// So why make the KooK? For decades now I think that surfing has been presented badly. From aggro froth to insipid retro soup to righteous preaching, it’s just limiting something limitless. It’s one of the bastions of bad writing, bad art and bland photography. But even as the world goes through a monstrous economic bummer the way surfing is presented is changing and even though surfing is obviously irrelevant, it feels somehow important. This paper, though, is just to stroke my ego.

///// In pulling this thing tight I was lucky enough to skim an old UK paper called Surf Insight. It was whimsical and innocent and really a joy to behold. Exactly how a surf publication should be: in reflection of its era. In compiling KooK I am mirroring the current age, dystopian times sure, but times filled with radical potential for change. So rooting these pages in surfing I’ve let the seams split and tried to have a laugh. If you can’t laugh at yourself and what you do, you’ve already missed the point. ///// The following contributed their time, energy and creative output for free. Kook would like to thank all of these people for enriching surf culture: Alex Rowse, Simon Perini, Michael Fordham, Cyrus Sutton, Andrew Kidman, John Isaac, John Eldridge, Jose Segundo, Mike Black, Kassia Meador, Kate Czucsman, Friend of Mine, Lee Robertson, Tim Conibear, Al McKinnon, Droog79, Jim Newitt, Ryan Heywood, Ryan Thomas, George Greenough Ryan Lovelace, Ollie Banks, Mark Dickinson, Sam Bleakley, Finisterre, Tony Plant, Ty Williams, Rob Kulisek, Johnny Abegg, Christiaan Bailey, Thor Jonsson, Chris Brock, Clifton Evers, Ryan Tatar, Rob Royal, Tom Haskett, Andrew Crockett and many others. All images and text remains copyright of the respective authors. ////// Welcome to the first annual issue of this extra-ordinary surfing newspaper. If you are still offended about being called a kook, maybe put this down and pick up this month’s Slash.

Epithetss Slambag – a painful wipeout Duke – Local surfer of great stature Gabbler – one who talks too much in the lineup Yewl – too cool for school Scaramanger – one who says it was better earlier Magnet – one who sits too close during a lull Stalagmite – drip from hood always in vision Trenched – caught inside Getting earnest – getting shacked(Shackleton) Albatross – surfer perpetually getting skunked Ruffians – grommets with attitude One-armed bandit – one who surfs with an arm raised Bowel arch – a weak or ugly soul arch Gidge – to reveal secret spots (mate, that place is gidged) Mule – surfer that partakes in extended sessions (Radford) Pismire – the stench of wetsuit boots Scalped – being stuck inland when the waves are good

Illustration by Simon Perini

= £5

John Eldridge

KOOK


KooK #1 Dickinson, Mark (grommit); Yorkshireman: father, poet, shaper, tube devotee , layer of rails, appreciator of the glide, walker of paths, mapper of place, seeker of origin, now & then; humble, dancer, fisherman, friend.

Cyrus by Ryan Tatar

Five Incoherent Thoughts on Handplaning by Cyrus Sutton

Mark by Ollie Banks

1) While probably originating in some tropical land as an intrinsic tool for survival, the suburban origin likely hails from fast food trays nabbed in plain view of underpaid, unconcerned employees. 2) A typical ride is described in the next run on sentence. Laying dormant beneath the surface until bulging swell and kicking feet enliven the piece of wood, plastic or foam to breach then plane down the building face as surface tension presses between hand and water rendering a controlled slide toward tapering shoulder. 3) The aquatic levitation sensation experienced via the handplane is like making love to the face of the wave. Firm grip, flexible body and curvy face intimately link rider with the motion of the ocean. 4) Any mat riding, alaia loving, carbon fiber flex-tail pumping, Greenough inspired fin foiler will tell you- “The greatest unsolved mystery in surfing is flex.” But none of these even come close to the unique flex patterns achieved by the combination of wrists, elbows, shoulders, spinal vertebrae, stomach muscles, knees, ankles and fins. 5) 90% of surfers compete for waves on less than 1% of the world’s coastlines. Like sheep we flock toting boards designed to inhabit a microscopic niche in the spectrum of breaking waves. Handplanes offer an escape hatch.

Sanderling by Tom Haskett

Illustration by Simon Perini

Scotty Stopnik by Keith Novosel


KooK #1

Bowmont by Tom Savage

The Great British Sheep Search… SSSSSSS Finisterre helps saves nearly extinct sheep and provides a boost to British manufacturing. Finisterre, the St. Agnes based technical clothing company has started working with a small North Devon farmer to help preserve a breed of sheep that very nearly hit extinction. At the same time they’re hoping to give a boost to British farming and manufacturing. The sheep story begins back in the late 70s at the Macaulay Institute in Aberdeen. A leading centre for agricultural research, their aim was to try to cross breeds of sheep that would provide a fine wool with the hardy sheep characteristics necessary to survive in the British climate. The two breeds chosen were Shetland – one of the hardiest and maternal sheep breeds around, but with poor wool quality - and Saxon Merino – a less hardy, less maternal sheep found in New Zealand, but possesses a fine wool. The resulting Bowmont breed took 20 years to stabilise, but finally had what the Institute had hoped for: a tough, maternal sheep with a very fine wool fibre (some have been clocked at 15.5 microns – Shetland average 28 microns). Unfortunately by this time, the British wool industry had fallen out of bed, and so many hard years of breeding were left to dwindle into the fields of mixed sheep farms the country over – many Bowmont being crossbred out. The second part of the story involves Finisterre.Much of their product line comes from ZQUE approved Merino. A great fibre, but it has to come all the way from New Zealand. Looking to produce more products in the UK using local sourced fibres, Finisterre began investigating the potential of UK raised sheep with as fibre as fine (or finer) than Merino. The search was on.

Illustration by Droog 79

After sometime, the search led to North Devon farmer- Lesley - and her fanatical love of rare breed sheep and goats with a passion for fine wools. In the last seven years, as well as building up the biggest flock of Cashmere goats in the UK, she has been scouring the land for all the remaining pure Bowmont sheep left. With these last sheep, she has started a small breeding program, helped by Finisterre, to bring this fantastic breed of sheep back from extinction. ‘We’ve all been up to the farm to help with shearing and lambing and understand fully what goes on, such as the attention to the husbandry and welfare. Each fleece is analysed for its wool quality and we’re just about to process (in the UK) our first lot of fleeces for use in our garments this year,’ said Finisterre’s design director Tom Podkolinski. ‘We are currently working on a scheme to preserve the work done so far and not dilute the name of the breed and associated wool quality. ‘ So Finisterre and Lesley are in bed together and with our market clout and passion for the project, in the coming years, we are hoping to re-establish both the breed and a sustainable market for the wool, processed in the UK. If successful, we might have saved and nurtured back to health what might become the next big UK breed of the century. What’s more it will be the finest wool sheep breed within Europe only being challenged by the assortment of Merino types around the world.

John Eldridge

Illustration by Simon Perini

KooK Supports Obama


Sam by Jim Newitt


KooK #1

John Eldridge

Consider John Isaac xxx by Michael Fordham Consider John Isaac. Consider what motivates a burly sprog from the hop fields of the Garden of England. Rumours of his nascence abound in Cornish surfing circles. Some say he went to public school and was kicked out for misbehaviour. Some say this classical English comeuppance, wrought tightly in the class structure that still binds these British Islands, accounts for Isaac’s obsession with all things tweedy, retrogressively styled and somehow locked tight to the defining field of coolness. Whatever that anachronistic moniker invokes in this twenty-first century, Isaac manages to evoke it. Some say that his uncanny ability to gather a coterie of followers around him is linked to the English Public School’s encouragement of leaders and followers, to the Kiplinesque system of batmen and wallahs that nurtures untold adulation in those who profess to be a man my son, and those who seek to ape tradition whilst reinterpreting these forms of behaviour for a contemporary reality. Way back in the day, if you found yourself in a certain outlet of gentlemenswear by the name of Duffer of St George (before every ne’er-do-well this side of the Dartford Crossing starting rocking snide hoodies in Malaysian pink with the Duffer brand) you would have heard the insistent drive of Isaac’s staccato consonants imploring the flotsam of Soho’s D’arblay street to purchase (in the subtlest form imaginable) the various threads on display, whilst bedecked in the Caesar crop that characterised every young ruffian from the environs of Stevenage to Endoubleyou One at the time.

John Isaac by Mark Leary

Around The World fff Uruguay by Jose Segundo

Fast forward a few years. The world turns in such a manner that a city based, slop hopping south coaster like our Isaac ends up, and swapping the foam balls of the English Channel for the juicier periods of the Celtic Sea. Despite his distaste for all things populist (and bearing in mind that every cynic is a crestfallen romantic, and that every true snob is an aspiring man of the earth) you find him hawking generic surf products (as well as some choice local grown materials) to unsuspecting wide-eyed groms and surfin’ dilettantes in Newquay’s Tunnel Vision. But alack: the erstwhile mass proclivity of thruster-rocking Slater wannabes was, toward the end of the twentieth century, about to be replaced in these islands by a new creed, a cult that would favour the stylishly progressive, the cleanest line and the mentality that sought to interpret the wave’s energy, rather than inscribe all too human will upon its fleeting surface like a sort of ephemeral tagger on methamphetamine. So, John, with Perry and Marky P, launched Revolver. The birth of a legend (and yes, I saw Star Trek last night). Though many of those that misunderstood this new focus labeled it as retro, the crew that were drawn to the original manifestations of Revolver surf shop weren’t interested in affecting the stance that they came from San Onofre in the years just post Nagasaki; nor did they intend to throw a simulacrum of themselves back to the fleeting moment of a soul-arch at the foot of a Winki-Pop wall in 1974. No. The acolytes of Revolver were rather more interested in searching out a certain essence of something encapsulated in the act of riding a wave. They simply loved to pick and choose from at least five decades of material surf culture for carrying on the ever-meaningless, boundlessly superficial act of wave sliding. The world turns still. Trends of consumption ebb and flow like the tides. It thus came to pass that the slow turnaround of cash and the endless afternoons taking the piss out of the grockels whilst bullshitting about how heavy Crantock was at low tide that morning failed to prove a viable business model. Isaac’s sign on the door that read “No, you probably wouldn’t understand!” tended to discourage too many people on the front at Fore Street from crossing Revolver’s stylishly appointed threshold. That’s what you get for hiring surfer labour. But now that the non-sliding universe tips deep into a frenzy of gloom, it seems that it’s the perfect time for Isaac & co and the return of Revolver. So many relationships of note, surfboards of distinction, and good times of yore were generated there that the boys finally listened to the masses and have re-opened. When the shit goes down, the good stuff floats to the top. Go in. Order a board. Eat some cake. Tell ‘em we sent ya.

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by Mike Black pigs are many things. some people are pigs. people share alot of dna with pigs, more than we do with monkeys as i understand it. i like to eat pigs. i like to drink blind pig beer. i kill pigs with my ak47. some people refer to civil servants as pigs. pigs can be wild. wild pigs are scary. what is the surfboard shape called a pig? what is it about 1967 that has people ignoring 1962? why do people ride thrusters? why did the pig board get replaced with the popsicle stick/tongue depressor? keep the tail down and the nose stays up.

KOOK


KooK #1

Jim by John Isaac

Al Mackinnon

Extract from: ‘The Soul of Surfing’ xxxxx by Sam Bleakley

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he awareness of surfers then offers a powerful collective imaginary – but how do we harness this holistic knowing of the nature and beauty of the sea to transform it into action for collective good – an ecological imperative? Surfers are naturally Friends of the Ocean – they are already badged, stained by salt residues, But, as ever, there are contradictions at work. Surfers are infamous for their often aggressive localism, protecting ‘their’ local break from visitors. This is plain nonsense – no group of people ‘own’ the ocean in this way, and surfers must face this fact. James Gibson described perception not as humans acting on the environment, but as the environment educating our attention. The world works on us, or ‘affords’ us perception, and we respond to its lessons. If we were to take on this idea, then we would not be so eager to shape the world to our desires, but, rather, to appreciate how the world educates us into her presence and beauty. The admirable surfers, out of the loop of localism and unnecessary aggressive mentality, allow the wave to shape their responses. Others try to impose themselves on the wave – at which point they ‘wipe out’ and fall. As the poet Wallace Stevens said, ‘the world is presence, not force’. 1

John Eldridge

Wasting Time

PPPPP From a story by Tim Conibear As I looked down the line of withdrawn faces it became obvious that we surfers have a problem; we are all addicts, too often drawn by our addiction to lie and cheat our way out of responsibility for one little hit, one little line down the point. It’s all we asked, all we wanted. ‘Surely’ we said in our warped minds as we ignored the attention of our vibrating cell phones ‘we deserve just a couple of waves?’ But no, here there was dejection, frustration, anger and injustice that what we had been promised had been stolen away from us at the last minute. We’d somehow been ripped off, cheated and I knew we were all thinking the same. ‘How can we drag this out till tomorrow?’ I had to get away. I made my excuses and left. The following morning the swell had come. I emerged from my hideout to see the line-up filling rapidly with the familiar faces of yesterday, hurling themselves over the rocks and through the channel, desperate to snag a wave from the competition before the hungry pack grew too large. Craven addicts the lot of us, and I was right in with them.

Denizens of the deep oooooooooooo A poem by George Walrus A maritime adventure ‘Pon the briny deep Sea the fickle mistress Our restless hearts she keep

Tony Plant

KOOK


KooK #1

A NOTE ON FLOW: uuuuuu by Mark Dickinson

FLOW: metaphor’s of current, a deep immersion in the moment, overcoming the duality of self and object. Within the intimacy of surrounds a centralising immanence of absorption, to be, I suppose, as one - but each thing to itself and so unto all things an inter-dependable relation of occupation. Not one, but separations of the whole, a whole which flow returns us to.

FLOW: to wash, rinse, swim, hover, fly. Flowe - act of flowing; high tide. To rise and drop, to feel weightlessness - to hang gracefully at ease. The deformation of rock under stress. Water, streams, rivers in flow - kinetic forms immersed in the spirit of motion, movement from place to place - through place of place. Never entirely stasis, except on behalf of the will, flow in keeping with but also to flow against. To granulate. A rhythmic celebration of time through the embodiment of water; kinetic energy is proportional to the velocity cubed - glide can overcome the need to thrust, perhaps this is a beautiful thing. To flow without thrust - to glide from one state of seeing to the next - a total immersion in being - this is a beautiful thing. F L O W F L O W F L O W

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FLOW: This is a beautiful thing…..

s y t s w s n s

Both images by Andrew Kidman

‘It’ words & photos by Dan Ryan

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We need to farm MORE intensively. We need to maximise the land in order to protect the last great stands of “nature”. We need to utilise every last patch of previously converted land. Instead of paying landowners ridiculous subsidies not to farm, we need to tax them if they don’t! We need to stop people buying their dream country home – that comes with 30 acres of farmland that will never again see a plough - from buying up our precious countryside with city bonuses. We need to get that land back into production… and fast! We need to cut out the need for cheap overseas foods by making our own. We need to make sure investment in crops goes towards better yields, not reward the sloppy chancers who see the forests as easy pickings. It’s deeply ironic that the way to save nature is to farm more intensively as it goes against everything we have been hearing, but I’m not sure there’s any other way. It’s up to you whether genetic modification will be a part of this solution. Personally, I hope it isn’t.

KOOK


KooK #1

Inland

11111 by Clifton Evers Going inland scares me. It is as if I have a surfing devil on my shoulder whispering ‘what if a swell hits, you will miss it’. Although swell forecasting sites have pretty much silenced that whispering now, hence my trip to Uluru when the arrows on the forecasting site were dark blue. At the heart of Australia there’s a big rock. It’s really big, and sort of red, or many shades of red. Comprised of arkosic sandstone, it is, apparently, the world’s biggest monolith. It is 5.8 miles in circumference, 1132 feet high, 2.2 miles long and 1.3 miles wide. Walking at a good pace, it takes several hours to circumnavigate. It’s thought to extend downwards several kilometres, like an iceberg in the desert. The site is significant to many groups. It is at the heart of Anangu belief, the Aboriginal people who have lived in the vicinity of Uluru for some 22,000 years or more. It is also at the heart of white Australians’ imagining of the country, although many have not visited – it’s an expensive enterprise to get to the Centre from the coast where 85 per cent of the population lives. This doesn’t stop foreign tourists, for whom ‘Ayers Rock’ is a choice destination.

Ryan Heywod

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In the dead of winter, we made our way to Uluru. We were on holiday. The hot days of the tropics were behind us, and the sun would now be on our backs until we turned west at Alice Springs, 1600 kilometres south of Darwin. The rhythm of time changed as we hit the Stuart Highway. In the back, leaning against the bags with my feet out the window, my body slowed to take in the subtly changing landscape. Nature stops and tea breaks gear-shifted the smooth flow of time and space. I wondered again and again at the marvel of a billy boiling in minutes, perched on a nest of twigs. It was all so new, in such an ancient land. The dryness was pervasive; the land yielded up a sigh. At night we slept on foamies – a luxurious version of the swag which were just little rectangles under the stars. We turned right at the town of Alice and, after stopping in the ghost-drenched former Lutheran mission of Hermannsburg, continued on a rough track through the Finke Gorge. The riverbed was as dry as could be with debris from the last time it flooded left high in the branches of the great river gums. The four-wheel drive clambered up and down sand dunes and rocks. Sometimes it would have been faster to walk, but I didn’t want to leave the vehicle and my companions. It’s easy to see how such a radically different space could feel like home: a secure human and nonhuman capsule upon which my life depended. It’s harder to know why it so displaced my real home. On the road to Uluru we found a track into the mulga bush and made camp far from the noise of the big tourist buses. It was crépuscule, or as one of companions said in Australian, crepuscular. He climbed a dune and came back to say that we had seen the rock. Dark had fallen and by the light of the gas lamp I read my novel. The rock could wait. The next day we broke camp faster than usual. We had a destination. For all that the image of the rock burned in my sense of Australia, I was less excited than my companions who had seen it many times before. Vague feelings of discomfort lingered as I sat in the back. Maybe I wouldn’t like it, or worse, maybe I wouldn’t have the right feeling. After the undulations of the previous country, the land was flat. A wide-open flatness that does the heart good. And it was red. Well, more than red can convey. We drove with no sign of change to the land. How could something that big disappear, or fail to appear? Then there it was. Awe-inspiringly, mind-bogglingly there. Wow – a useless word; but, wow. Complying with their daughter’s request, my companions played her favourite song for the sighting of the rock: ‘Beds are Burning’ from Midnight Oil’s Diesel and Dust (1985). As we got closer, time slowed. I breathed in an elation that seemed to be the result of a million things resonating. The anthem of good white Australia dissipated out the window and into the red dust: The time has come to say fair’s fair To pay the rent, to pay our share come, a fact’s fact It belongs to them, let’s give it back.

Neil Erskine by Mark Leary

Erskine

The time has

In a daze I walked around the rock, registering its magnificence. We drove to Yulara, the Ayers Rock Resort. Our travels continued but I’ll leave us there, filling the water tanks and picking up supplies. That feeling reverberated; it still does. It can’t be lifted out from other experiences along the road; and wasn’t quite a distillation of feelings either. It was a hot-white intensity that burned through layers of memory and perception. I was inland and have never felt so out of place in my life … in more ways than one.

An Erskine is a rare form of sea creature, usually spotted on Atlantic coasts. Adopting an embryonic relationship with waves near and far, the Erskine rarely seems to be hurrying but is always in the right place at the right time. The Erskine has developed peripheral skills to complement a surfing life - a very edible but stringently healthy diet, flexibility nurtured by yoga, encyclopaedic knowledge of nooks and crannies near and far. Here, the Erskine is pictured between two natural environments -the van and the sea. The old van and the sea, cheers Neil.

Wagtail by Tom Haskett

KOOK


KooK #1 3.

John Eldridge

wRog He rides unsanded self-shaped micro-fishes with flat rocker and uneven fins. I saw him stick a twisted backflip off a little bowl section like he was snowboarding. I don’t think he owns a leash. My girlfriend gave him some mint plants and he planted them up in his van and used them to make sweet herb tea at the beach.

Mark Leary

Life of Ply by Christiaan Bailey qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq John and I basically spent last summer, driving around, bellyboards on the back seat, visiting older sorts. The time spent was incredibly gentile, tea cups with saucers, home made cake, crumble and biscuits. It was like some Alice in Wonderland experience, opening our eyes to a different perspective on the whole surfing deal. We began to see surfing as a much more inclusive practice, accepting of everyone having a go, sharing in the thrills and spills of sliding shore-wards under a hot sun, albeit in fridged waters, sans wetsuits. The scene is very addictive, it’s just so positive.. the prone ply riding peeps are just as stoked as the rest of us when they get a good ride, but there is none of the ego, that accompanies some other forms of surf riding. The equipement is remarkably flexible in application, from gliding shorewards in the whitewater, to sketchy take offs at Habour Walls (Jon Hickman 27yrs) the boards respond by delivering the appropriate smile and resulting satisfaction of a good ride. With ply boards you ride half in the wave, not on top of the surface as with bodyboards or other more boyant surfcraft and the experience is vey involved. Flex is key for late take off’s, stiffness for long rides, on the smallest of waves. A quiver of three boards as demonstrated by Dorothy Long (81) in ‘The Life of Ply’ should mean your prepared for any conditions and the boards are just bomb proof, lasting lifetimes. After many years of documenting so many approaches to wave riding around the globe it was simply amazing to find such inspiring and rich pastures back here in the UK. Pushing ply is largely ignored by the established surfing media and subsequently people just don’t recognise or understand it. At the beach, there are stares and giggles from the uninitiated, but what do we care, we are mining the stoke from our own vein of surfing and it’s rich.

Friend of Mine

4.

It’s really strange thinking about justifying the prone approach to wave riding as legitimate, because, it’s not really something that proners are too worried about. If you take a good look at it, it has to be the closest thing to surfing’s roots, surely folk rode waves lying down, before standing? The ancient Hawaiians must have started at this obvious and accessible point, check out the proners in the etchings and scetches from the Cook visit to The Sandwich Isles. It’s been 100 years (at least) since the prone approach to surf riding arrived in the UK, which means it pre-dates stand up surfing by over 40 years. I’m not sure what this means to the surf media or industry, but it certainly introduced thousands to the joys of riding waves in an inclusive, accessible and open minded manner and in these over crowded and recession hit times, maybe it’s time we tuned back in.

1-4 by Ryan Thomas

KOOK


KooK #1

Thor Jonsson

Kassia Meador

the dumb waiter the carpet pile the navel gazer the candy store choke the ammonite the biscuit weave the dough pusher the armadillo the doodlebug the saveloy the marmaduke the canteloupe the formidable

-with credit to Eldridge, J.

Tea Appreciation Tea Appreciation Society co-founder Shayne House, extols the virtues of hanging loose with the tea. I am, as we speak, or rather as you read, but more accurately whilst I’m typing, well, in between when I was typing to be fair, as I only have 1 pair of hands, although I suppose in theory I could have been typing with one finger and sipping tea with the other, hand that is, not finger, I’m not from the planet Ork, anyway I digress, where was I? Ah yes, I am currently partaking of a rather splendid Amber Oolong loose leaf tea from the Nantou county in Taiwan. I am imbibing this wonderful light and refreshing tea from a Chatjan, yes you may well be surprised, but it’s none of that fancy fine china nonsense for me, not unless I’m with Mummy of course. One would be ill advised to drink from any receptacle other than bone china whilst at mama’s. Yes indeed, I am supping, if you like, my delicious Oolong from a Chatjan, it is a beautiful tea cup with its own infuser and lid; individually hand-crafted by Yeo San from Ichun city, Gyeong-gi-do, South Korea, it fits snugly in the palm of my hand and, whilst a little hot at times, oh dear I think I need to pop it down a while, that’s better, well it warms my soul, not to mention leaving superficial burns to my hands, but anyway that is beside the point… As I sit beneath this tree, actually I’m sat at the kitchen table, but for the purpose of this literary piece please imagine me to be elsewhere other than at my laptop (this writing business seems to be a lot trickier than I had first thought) This fine tea spirits me away to a cloud and mist covered frozen peak mountain region of Taiwan, I am surrounded by hot springs and hilltop temples, I can taste the merest hint of charcoal that roasted these tea leaves. Oh sorry, have to go now, my cucumber sandwiches have just popped out of the toaster. To your good health.

Friend of Mine

KOOK


“

We used to get the grinder out and round bits off or even chop them off. We used to take a board that almost worked and try and refine it to get it to go better, sometimes we might build up resin lifts in the tail, sand the rails back to get them softer and try all kinds of things with fin configurations, and then foils, rake and flex in the fins. What turned me onto shaping was bodysurfing and coming in with a straight leg at the back and if I buckled my legs up at the back I would go heaps further. I was only young, but it fully made me think about why that was happening, what gave me that extra push forward.�

Chris Brock


“I learn a great deal about the boards I make during the pullout� - Andrew Kidman Stills taken from footage shot by Michael Waters


KooK #1

The ugly duckling ppppppppppp

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In which the Kook presents beach scenes from around the globe for the benefit of comparison.

by Florian Carlo I often remember the time when I started surfing. It was in summer, seems to me like it was yesterday, but since then time went by. I lived in the city, and as much as I loved the ocean, it was still a once-a-year thing. Like any other kid on holiday, my surfing experience was made of planking sensations then. Each year, the first thing I would do when we arrived home, would be to run to the attic and pull out my old plywood plank. We would settle in and my father would drive us to the beach for the first contact of the year. When I was really lucky, surf was up. I remember I was fearless. I almost drowned on a few occasions, but I would always love to be pounded by the waves, right on the impact zone. My thing was to swim there on purpose, with my plank, and try to make the drop without being crushed on the sandbar. And I would do that again and again, until I would be too cold to stay any longer in the water, or until my father would shout me to get out of there and ground me on the beach for my dangerous behaviour. Things wouldn’t change much from one summer to another. One year, I asked for a body board after watching the beginning of the sport on TV. But what I got was a lousy copy of Tom Morey’s invention. It was so bad, that it had a set of plastic fins underneath that would just make it as useless as a car with no tires. So again, I got my plank out of the dust and kept on doing my thing. The swell was always quite heavy on that North Atlantic shore. We were small and not very strong, so the sensations were extraordinary. When I saw the first surfer, I was amazed. But he was a grown up, I didn’t know him, and it was out of the question to go and ask him anything on the beach, in case he would treat me like the older guys at school, you know. Eventually though, other surfers started to join him on the peak, and a small crew of maybe 10 or 15 guys would gather at the same spot every year with their boards, their smokes and their hot girl friends. I discovered some time later that I knew a guy, that knew a guy etc. and I finally had the chance to meet the hot local surfer. The guy was kind of rough. Covered with tattoos, independent and bad tempered. But he was fair and if you talked surf he would talk back and even smile. I was bold enough to say I wanted to learn. He looked at me like “yeah sure”, but I insisted and so he told me to drop by his place on the next morning. I got there and with few words followed him up a staircase. Underneath a bunch of unidentified stuff, he pulled out an old blue surfboard. It was fat with a yellow single fin glassed on, dinged all over. It wasn’t too big for me, but as I discovered later, it couldn’t duck dive. Lying on the grass, side by side with his light thruster, it looked ugly as hell. “You can learn with that board” he said. I knew he thought I would play around and give up quickly. But I thanked him and headed home with that thing under my arm. That year was the most pumping summer swell I have ever recalled. It was at least head high and glassy, every single day. I was on the beach all the time, with my blue single. I waited for my mentor on the first day, and when I saw him paddling to the line up, I followed and got there myself after a huge effort. I sat on my board near the peak, completely unbalanced, and started to observe. Then I tried to paddle, and little by little, started to get used to the volume, the glide, and the new sliding sensations. I remember my first wave as if it was engraved in my cortex. I made the take off, dropped, followed the line and got wiped out. It was breath taking. When I got back to the line up with a smile stuck on my face, every body greeted me. My surfing years had just started. Apart from an old friend that was riding an orange longboard at the time, I was the only guy with a single fin that year. At the end of the summer, I knew how to take off, carve, and follow the line. My bottom turns were not fully controlled, and I almost killed everybody at least once when I tried to make the drop on closing sections, but I was stoked as any surfer can be. I had no wetsuit, no surf trunk, but I would surf at least four hours a day. I remember one day I forgot my towel and waxed the leather seats of my mum’s car. I remember the first time my leash broke on a heavy day, at the line up, and I had to get back to shore swimming. I remember my cracked rib on a clean wipe out on this perfect high tide hollow day. I remember sharing my own stories on the beach with the other surfers now that I had some. I remember the first time I surfed an easier spot and was amazed I could surf like I did. I remember learning to read the swell from the cliff and identifying the adequate spots. I think I remember every thing. I didn’t realize at the time what an opportunity it had been to learn on a classic single. The board was heavy, and it was not easy to get through the closing sets, but I managed and got used to it. On the other hand, when I paddled for a wave, the weight and the volume were a great help to stand up, and even if I couldn’t explain it at the time, I didn’t have to pump like a mad man to get speed and cruise on the wall of the wave, standing still and effortlessly. I looked at it though without understanding. I wanted a shortboard like everybody else. In fact the following year, I had ordered a 6’6 thruster. It was the biggest mistake I have ever made choosing a new board. Apart from the fact the board wouldn’t glide anymore, it also stopped my progression just about immediately. It was beautiful lying on the sand, white, custom made with that blue star on the deck. When I paddled out it suddenly turned into a piece of foam with no inner fun. After two years of putting up with that thing, I turned my back on it. I bought a single fin longboard, sold that piece of junk so I wouldn’t see it any more, and started evolving again as a surfer. Years later, I have understood what shaping is all about. I surfed all kind of crafts, shaped some of my boards, some I bought. But that first training year has been the key to my understanding of what is surfing. It is not about how your board looks on the beach, it is not about how cool you are when you surf. It is about speed, glide, and curves. It is about the thrill you get when you suddenly start flying on the wall, as if defying the laws of gravity. For that matter, a board that enables you to accelerate without moving a finger or carve with a slight foot pressure is what I have always been looking for. As a drug addict trying to get back the feeling of his first fix, I have been seeking all my life the stoke of that first surf with that old single fin. That ugly duckling taught me how to surf, and I turned my back on it. It will be an eternal and bitter regret. Some day maybe, I will ask if I can keep it in my quiver. Maybe or maybe not because when I think about it, I always wonder if I was the only one to learn with it …

New Kirra by Sean Scott www

Pipe by Kate Czucsman

Cornwall by Friend of Mine

SUP? whatthe Simon Perini

fsok??

KOOK


KooK #1

Noah steps it up

Illuminations With Ollie Banks

]]]

Toothy lurkers getting frisky

Our sources down under claim that Noah is on the loose and acting up in the Antipodes. Unconfirmed reports of the epidemic spreading to UK lineups should not be discounted with Ireland thought to be too sharky to surf. Avoid the ocean, the Kook advises. Tom Haskett

Illustration by Ty Williams

A Collection of Film & music

16 Original shOrt films insPirED BY thE sEa

FilmmAKers

Featuring,

Albert Falzon, Jon Frank, Monty Webber, Patrick Trefz, Michele Lockwood, Richard Kenvin & Andrew Kidman. sOUNDTrACK

My Morning Jacket, Sufjan Stevens, Vetiver, Mogwai, Bonnie Prince Billy, & Explosions In The Sky Mike Black flawless saveloy Curated by Andrew Kidman.

UrA300 (P) & (C) 2009 spunk records.

KOOK


KooK #1

Hull’s Teeth An interview with Lovelace/Point Concept

mmmmmmm what the hull is going on? who knows!!! shaping, glassing endlessly...and enjoying what i do every day; i get to shape the boards that my close friends and I ride, and then get to watch them surf the boards, which is the greatest feeling in the world... the sacred craft show is coming up (here in Ca.), so I’m getting ready for that, as well as trying to get a few summer trips planned out between boards. stoked to have a few well known guys in socal try out my shapes recently, its a real trip just doing what i like to do every day and getting to put the board into the hands (or feet?) of some seriously talented surfers. what lured me.....good question...I was lured by the surfer’s journal article a few years ago, as i read the issue it started clicking that THIS was the way i wanted and had been trying to surf waves for a while, and everything that all the oldtimers and hull-aholics were putting into words in that article really resonated with the lines I wanted to draw on a wave. luckily there were a few hulls in the surf shop that i frequent here in SB at the time, so i studied them to no end, and got heavily into the greenough kneeboard aspect of their creation as well. My last clark foam blank I used to shape my first hull; it was a 6’8, very wide template thing, thin rails and decent s-deck, the thing was like a bar of soap and i knew the design was worth following through with after my first sessions on hulls. I surf through what i feel in my feet more than how it looks to bystanders...so the hulls really struck a chord with me and as far as my personal surfing and loves within surfing goes, i’ve never looked back. some hulls I’ve known and loved.....the first that comes to mind was my magic daily driver for the previous winter, it was a 6’5 very wide tailed sucker, wide, with a pulled in kindof nose....a hybrid greenough/twin fish template, with a hull foil and rails. the thing worked wonders in anything...i ended up dropping finboxes in it and set it up as a twin keel, and MAN that thing was fun...i hit some pretty hard times and sold it to a local guy for way cheap....i miss it all the time! The She hull was a major revolution in hull design for me...i shaped it after watching kyle albers ride a 7’4 one day at rincon...he complained that he had never had a hull flat and thin enough for him and his style, so i took that as a challenge and thought id try to make him one that met his standards...so i went reeeeeally flat, 2 3/4” thick and the rails were pretty well non existant, a little smaller than your pinky finger tip’s radius. the board just went soooo well here at rincon and the other fast points we’ve got; it really blew my mind surfing that thing and watching everyone else surf it as well; it got really good feedback and that board has been the basis for all of my hull designs since. its the blue board in the photos...im also sending a screenshot fromt he tyler warren experiements of Tyler bottom turning the crap out of it in Oz. The last one ill mention is a new board that I built for myself, its 3/4” shy of 11’ long. Its a glider type template with a narrow nose and a pintail; the thing is foiled like a hull, the nose and tail are scarily thin, and the rails and bottom are hulled out...its my daily driver now, ive ridden it in anything from 1’ rincon to overhead malibu, and its handled itself incredibly well...i thought it would only trim and go fast, but you can break trim and find some really cool lines and really play around with it... at the moment i think i’ve got the boards really dialed for the waves here in SB...we’ve got a lot of really fast points that are very down the line oriented. we’ve been surfing malibu a lot the past two months or so since the south swells started coming in, and its a very different wave; still very lined up but much slower, so im working on modifying the bottom shape to roll more and be a bit more playful, instead of the pure trim machines that we’ve been frothing over...I want to find the same type of feeling and insane trim that the super bladed boards have been giving us, but be able to project out of a bottom turn quicker, and draw a rounder line; so far i’ve moved the belly back further, and the rocker apex as well...results on the first couple boards have been great, and im really exited for the rest of the summer to see what gets dreamed up.

Images by Robert Kulisek

Feel

by Johnny Abegg

pppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp Surfing isn’t about how good the waves are, it’s about joy, it’s about spirit…. It’s about camaraderie, about sharing this magic that liquefies our soul… showing us why we live by the ocean. A wave approaches; I can feel this one is going to run towards the sunset… I take off, I angle my feel parallel & central, knees together, standing up straight. My arms, I hold out wide, feeling the wind whipping away my thoughts. I turn my attention to the sky rather than the waves, I laugh, I smile at the tingles the ocean sends up through my board, my toes, my torso, into my core…. I shut my eyes, I feel… I fly an ocean wave into the sky… This was the best wave I have caught all year, better than any tube, better than any 100 metre wave to Clarks, better than multiple high lines & turns… this was a 2ft dribbler felt to my core.

Frame grab from footage by Morgan Maasen, Tyler Warren

KOOK


KooK #1

Hot sauce in the Caribbean gggfff by Lee Robertson

Custom surfboard shaped for Paul Brewer : 6’5”, channel bottom, double wing, swallow tail - by Andrew Kidman. Photography Andrew Kidman

Deep down the east coast of Costa Rica there is a little town that has one of the Caribbean’s punchiest waves. The local crew are a disturbing bunch of expats who thrive on the heaving right slab. One of their more illustrious and perhaps prototypical members is Captain Zero, a shambling Vietnam vet, drugs runner and surfer who disappeared from Montauk life to be found and narrated about by his old friend Weisbecker in his book ‘In Search of Captain Zero’. I was in town looking for a story about the Caribbean culture of the sleepy jungle town juxtaposed with the intense wave, but if anything I found life far from idyllic. The loss of the banana economy has left little work for many of the patois speaking locals and the influx of crack cocaine is decimating the laid back warmth of the people. I interviewed Captain Zero about life in the town, he warned me off about featuring some of the local surfers in a journalistic piece. ‘We don’t like you writer guys buddy, can YOU tell the truth? Evidently a piece had been recently written detailing some of the town’s more hedonistic lifestyle and characters, it didn’t go down well. I changed tack and asked him about the surf. ‘Hell yeah, there’s some nice little zippers down the coast, they’re MAGAZINE man.’ His eye was crystal dark in a milky sea. I wondered if he was steering me away from the wave in town. He gave me a monologue about his fight with Hollywood over the money he was owed for someone playing his character in an upcoming film of the book. His rambling incoherence was interspersed with invectives against the machine, I liked his soul but he had lost it. Drink, drugs and hard living had burnt him, leaving him fried, old and alone. He cycled off with his dogs in tow, trying to be proud, but the two beers I had given him left him stoned and he wobbled on his bike and dropped the papers he had brought to show me hoping I could help with his case. The next morning I got up early eager to hire a boat to get me into the channel to shoot some surfing. The waves were good, though the only ‘fisherman’ I could find was Sylvester who’s laid back attitude was disintegrating as he came down from his all-nighter. Because of the swell the boats wouldn’t go out, but Sylvester wanted to paddle me out in a canoe. From the shore you could see white water but no wave, the pit was under sea level dredging at about six to eight feet. I was keen to go but not with Sylvester whose gurning jaw was starting to twitch. As a last resort to get me to pass some money he went for the fear tactic and showed me his fresh livid machete scar on his arm, eighteen stitches that were slowly rotting out. ‘I no scared you or no man or no sea, we go now’ a touch of menace in his voice. I left him and went surfing; the intense wave no let up from the intense vibe back on shore.

Belly Channels by

Paul Waters.

I have always been a great advocate of boards with belly channels (the channels in the board above are tail channels, ED.) all my early twin fins had belly channels but by the early 80’s fewer and fewer shapers would put them into boards instead going for the then newer innovation of single to double concaves. Shapers, glassers, sanders and polishers all disliked channels and the move to concaves just made life easier for everyone. This move in trends was actually one of the factors that started me shaping, I couldn’t get what I wanted so started shaping my own, with varying degrees of success. I mostly use belly channels which are especially suited to both Traditional and modern twins and Quads, they give fast projective bottom turns and cut through foam without the loss of speed and flutter you sometimes feel with big concaves, especially on re-entries and when bouncing off the white water, side slipping on steeper faces and hard bottom turns is also reduced. The secret to good belly Channels is to make them long enough that the bottom of the channel actually becomes a second rocker line allowing the water to enter the channel from half way up the board and then flow through and out onto the vee tail, a well shaped channel should not have any longitudinal low spot that may catch air and outside channels should direct water to the base of the fins again fading out to make as little disturbance to the flow as possible.

Thor Jonsson

(Barefoot Grower) anna greenland 333333333 Mizuna – oriental brassica with serrated leaves and peppery flavour Red Mustard – purplish veined leaves with a mustardy kick American Land Cress – pungent watercress hit Buckler Leaf Sorrel – sharp lemony flavour ‘Bright Lights’ Chard – beautiful rainbow coloured stems and spinachy flavour

No garden to grow your own? Above are 5 types of flavoursome leaf you can grow on your windowsill to spice up your salads. Recycle makeshift plant pots using anything you can get your hands on…yoghurt pots…. plastic bottles – just punch holes in the bottom for drainage. All you need is a little moisture and light and bob’s your uncle…delicious salad leaves for most of the year. Treat as cut-and-come-again crops. Sow early spring to autumn. Illustration by Simon Perini Photo by Anna Greenland

KOOK


John Eldridge


Illustration by Ty Williams

Blueprint aaa by Dan Ryan

Surfers are an environmentally minded bunch. We know this. Camouflaged by the forces of nature they bear first witness to pollution, over-fishing, mass tourism, erosion, and the great new threat that stalks the earth - climate change. In the good ol’ days of environmentalism we could see the enemies. We could even touch them… if you were into that sort of thing. Oil slicks, tampons, condoms, and shit were inhaled until pioneers like SAS began to fight back. We would mourn the loss of a dead dolphin, but we could see its monofilament killer. But this new threat has an invisibility cloak and it’s hard to scrap an unseen demon. Leading the new battle for Planet Earth has been the flaccid swords of limp journalism and tired politics. The pith we’re probably all bored of reads; turn off the lights, don’t leave the TV on, wash your clothes at 15 degrees, drive less, don’t go on holiday, don’t have any fun. All are stained by negativity and if we’ve learnt anything at all, it’s that our species doesn’t respond well to being told what not to do. What we need is an Excalibur. We can all fight the good fight if we realise it’s not change we’re fighting but our own content stagnation. ‘Happy as pigs in shit,’ you might say. When we understand a healthy future doesn’t mean starving ourselves of joy we can begin to celebrate the things we can do, not shed salt about things we can’t. We will not beat Mother Nature in a fight. We must dance with her instead.

Photo by George Greenough


KooK #1

Bahamian Recipe ‘‘‘

with Rob Royal When I was living in the Bahamas, after a surf we used to cook up some food with friends, sip rum, and enjoy the tropical life. More often than not, we would be surfing an outer reef accessed only by boat. So, after surfing we could grab our spears, or fishing line and catch something for dinner - not always popular with the squeamish. Anyway, we’d usually end up with some form of snapper, and this is how we’d cook it. Ingredients are simple, as is the cooking method. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 pounds mild white fish fillets( cod, plaice, haddock and the like is fine) 1 onion sliced thickly 1 lemon sliced thickly 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 teacup mayonnaise 1/4 teacup sour cream 1/2 teaspoon each of following: salt, sage, thyme, rosemary, and cumin 1 clove garlic minced ground black pepper to taste To cook, preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Coat a baking pan with vegetable oil. Lay half the onion and lemon slices in bottom of pan. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and spices together and coat fish with mixture. Place fish on top of onion and lemon slices, sprinkle with black pepper, and place remaining slices on top of fish. Bake uncovered until fish flakes easily, 10 minutes or less depending on thickness of fillets. Garnish with parsley if you’re feeling fancy. We would usually serve this with black or red beans and rice, or a true Bahamian delicacy, Peas and Rice, which I’ll give you the secret to next time. Hope you like!

CJ by Mark Leary - Respect your Elders

Contributors Alex Rowse Simon Perini Michael Fordham Cyrus Sutton Andrew Kidman John Isaac John Eldridge Jose Segundo Mike Black Kassia Meador Kate Czucsman Friend of Mine Lee Robertson Tim Conibear Al Mackinnon Droog79 Jim Newitt Ryan Heywood Ryan Thomas George Greenough Ryan Lovelace Ollie Banks Mark Dickinson Sam Bleakley Finisterre Tony Plant Ty Williams Rob Kulisek Johnny Abegg Thor Jonsson Chris Brock Clifton Evers Ryan Tatar Andrew Crockett Rob Royal Tom Haskett Seamouse Christiaan Bailey

a-sidestudio.co.uk simonperini.blogspot.com bookofsurfing.com korduroy.tv litmus.com.au pronetobelly.blogspot.com goose-jerky.blogspot.com josesegundo.info surfapig.blogspot.com kassiameadorphoto.com lazywaves.co.uk friend-of-mine.co.uk eels.eu.com Ticket To Ride Foundation almackinnon.com droog79.blogspot.com point-never.com ryanheywood.com wwaarrbblleess.blogspot.com georgegreenough.com pointconceptsurf.com olliebanks.blogspot.com fluidconcept.co.uk ? finisterreuk.com surftwisted.com typaints.com robkulisek.tumblr.com johnnyabegg.wordpress.com 3oceans.com ORDER A BOARD NOW kurungabaa.net ryantatar.com switch-foot.com royalsurfboards.com thomashaskettillustration pinnipedstudios.com thesurfscreen.com

Eldridge hucking a lazy susan for the lens.

777777777777777 KooK 1 © 2009 kook is an annual surfing newspaper

All content © the artists, photographers, writers and other Thou shalt not use any of this material without written permission or you will be struck down.

contributors.

compiled, edited and designed by nod to Alex

Dan Crockett, with an enormous Rowse the main hullman for his input along the way, hey.

KooK is created and produced for the shared joy of creating and producing something different. It is not for profit. if you would like to submit content for

Kook 2,

please get in

touch using danielcrockett@gmail.com.

wildering: http://thisrichtapestry.blogspot.com

Illustration by Simon Perini

= £5 Illustration by seamouse

KOOK

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